Project Management

Time Management When There’s Not Enough Time

Andy Jordan is President of Roffensian Consulting S.A., a Roatan, Honduras-based management consulting firm with a comprehensive project management practice. Andy always appreciates feedback and discussion on the issues raised in his articles and can be reached at andy.jordan@roffensian.com. Andy's new book Risk Management for Project Driven Organizations is now available.

Before they ever start managing their first project, new PMs know that they have many different tasks to perform, many different hats to wear, and a whole host of people relying on them to get it all done. And they also know that time is going to be the most precious commodity they have. New project managers are taught from the very start that how they manage their time will be critical to their success. Choosing what to focus on first, where to concentrate their efforts and what to defer or delegate is critical not just for the PM, but also for the project.

A common model that PMs are taught is the Eisenhower Matrix, which is a two-by-two matrix that separates tasks into “urgent/less urgent” and “important/less important.” (You can read more about it here.) That’s a good way to help identify what is both urgent and important, and to prioritize the rest.

But let’s face the ugly reality that project managers have been dealing with since projects began: Sometimes PMs just don’t have enough time to do everything. What do you do then?

The answer to that question can be the difference between success and failure for new project managers. I’m a big fan of the Eisenhower Matrix, and would suggest that every PM work to assign each task they have to one of the four quadrants. However, I also believe that the matrix has flaws when …


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